First impressions of Cape Town

I began my journey from New York to Cape Town on Tuesday night, around 3am (technically Wednesday morning!) and I finally arrived in Cape Town on Friday morning around 11am. It was quite a journey!

Naturally, a little celebration was in order on Friday night, after a little sleeping. It turned out to be rather a lot of celebration actually, as we chased the party into the wee small hours of the morning.

Saturday night saw a little poker tournament at a friend’s place. The Scottish charm worked a treat and I walked away as the champion of the evening. Viva Scotland!

Then Sunday morning I watched while some friends took a morning swim in the ocean. It was a pretty beautiful spot.

South Africa Cape Town Good morning swim

Safety in South Africa

I’d heard stories that Cape Town was dangerous, although not as dangerous as Johannesburg. Every house I’ve been in has bars on the windows, and tall, locked gates. There are signs on many houses advertising that they are protected by an armed response service.

So it’s clear that crime is a problem here, or at least a perceived problem. However, I haven’t felt unsafe on the streets at any point. I’ve spoken to people in lots of different places, on the local minibuses, on the train, on the streets, in bars, and I haven’t felt unsafe with anyone I’ve met.

I have heard stories of muggings and robbery though, so it’s clear that there is a danger. I’ve been told, and I believe, that if you keep your wits about you, use common sense, and avoid certain dangerous situations, Cape Town can be enjoyed in safety.


It’s nice to be back in a warm country. The weather is very pleasant indeed. Warm sunshine, a cooling breeze, and cooler at night without being desperately cold. A light jacket and a tshirt is enough at night, so long as you have something to break the wind.

2 thoughts on “First impressions of Cape Town”

  1. Thanks Callum for the balanced comments on the crime situation in Cape Town.
    I am British Consul General in Cape Town and responsible for assisting British citizens who find themselves in trouble, including as the victims of crime. As you said, although crime levels including violent crime, are higher than in the UK, provided people take sensible precautions they are likely to have a trouble-free visit to S.Africa. Enjoy!

  2. Glad you are enjoying SA mate. It sounds like a fantastic place to visit. If Scotland qualify for the World Cup finals, I will be over there for a week or two (we never get past the group stages!!)
    Staying safe when visiting foreign countries is easy most of the time:
    Don’t look like a tourist and wear expensive jewellery. Stay in busy well lit areas, respect local customs and the people and last of all the one I never have managed to fully grasp – Don’t get so pissed that you wander off into dodgy neighbourhoods!!

    Take care

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